Reversal Installation

Kimberly Hahn, Reversal, detail, 2013, Seamless backdrop, curtain rod & holders, hinges, screws, serigraphic photo emulsion, silkscreen, wood, Dimensions Variable

Reversal explores spatial and conventional expectations, process, product, and a photograph’s relationship to time, collapsing many of these subjects into themselves.  The installation portrays a mock photo shoot, as if in a photographer’s studio, in which two sculptures, comprised of hinged, upright, serigraphy screens with backing boards, are placed on black, seamless backdrops in mirror reflection of each other.  Instead of conventional framed photographic presentation, the positive photographic images are seen in exposed light sensitive emulsion layers on the faux serigraphy screens.  The resultant emulsion border evokes memories of a sloppy photographic border, a vestige of analogue photography, seen now most often applied by modifications made in apps and photography manipulation programs.  In this case, however, a digital image was used and the analogue serigraphic process added the evocative border.  As the serigraphic printing frame and screen become replacements for traditional frame and mat, their function shifts from that of process to final product. This shift in purpose is also viewable in the image embedded in the emulsion, which is seen in positive (reversal) form, whereas in serigraphy, a negative of the image would normally be visible on the screen allowing, when printed, the ink to create a positive on another surface or object.

The shadows of the sculptures on the seamless become as integral a part of the piece as the images on the screens. The transparent substrate of the screen allows the photographic images’ shadows to fall onto the backdrop paper below. In contrast to a photograph, which claims to freeze moments in time, here, as the shadow shifts with the moving daylight, the photograph is creating fractional shifts in moments instead of capturing them. The black edges of the serigraphic frame blend into the backdrop, causing the seamless to become a disruptive object in the installation that no longer serves as a voiceless, neutral base generally intended to highlight a sculpture as end product, separate from its surroundings.

The work wrestles with the control over the artist that process normally has and reverses that dynamic by curtailing and thus turning these processes into a product.  Reversal demonstrates ambiguities of the photographic medium, its application, and its processes, while simultaneously displaying it as an end result.

Exhibition on view: March 20-May 25, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday, March 23, 5-7 pm

Left Coast Gallery
5877 Hollister Avenue
Goleta, CA

Chromatic Variation 1 Installation by Kimberly Hahn

My new installation Chromatic Variation 1 is now on view in the Limuw: An Ode to the Sea exhibition at CAF Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara.

KimberlyHahn ChromaticVariation 1

Kimberly Hahn, Chromatic Variation 1 (Detail), 2013, Site-specific installation at CAF Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara comprised of fabric dye, dowel rods, muslin, monofiliament, paint, plywood, and salt, Dimensions Variable (Installation approximately 98-1/2 x 108 x 72 in.), Commissioned by Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Courtesy the Artist.

More

The inspiration for this piece is derived from looking at underwater photography texts as well as physics sites, which discuss how light is absorbed as one descends into the Ocean. Each wavelength of light is absorbed at a different depth in water with  longest wavelengths, such as red, absorbed first. As a result the colors are absorbed from red to blue as they exist in the color spectrum. In addition, Oceanographic sites discuss the density of the water as well as the salt content increases as one descends. As each pouch is dipped into paint, the color absorbs into the fabric and minute salt crystals cling to the fabric as the wet liquid part of the colorant evaporates.  Hanging at different heights the colored pouches project a feeling of volume and weight while cascading at different heights from red to blue as the piece gets closer to the walls and crannies of the back stairwell. Though inspired by scientific phenomenon, this work takes an intuitive, poetic approach to representing the feel of being absorbed in liquid as salt saturates the experience and color becomes de-saturated upon descent.

Unidentified Fotographed Objects Series (UFOs)

These images explore photographing objects in great detail and the abstract.  Objects’ components can serve a purpose, in addition to the overall use of the object.  Their subtle subtexts are often overlooked and yet felt unknowingly by the user.  Using color; translucency; material; shape; or texture, the object makers convey a desired experience by their choices.  The detailed approach renders the objects unidentifiable.  The “Ph” in Photographed was changed to an “F”, so that the title of the series plays with the idea of UFOs.  The objects could be things we may not recognize, but may be aspects of our everyday humdrum world.  In addition, the title seeks to convey that these objects could also be unknown or foreign to us.  Through this means of depiction, we experience them first as their essence.  Should we ever find these objects in real life we could build a picture of them from the inside out.

Unidentified Fotographed Objects Series 1

 

Blue Looking Glass Series

These photographs were taken using a blue walled children’s viewing toy.  The shape of the “Blue Looking Glass”  informs each of the images by creating a border of varying hues around the central circular viewing space.  Intimate, interior spaces were photographed through this man-made funnel to give a picture of how safe places could look through altered sight – a possibly tenuous defect for humans. (Though not necessarily for other creatures, who are equipped to see the world differently.)  Some of the photographs mimic a Cubist approach to fracturing space, though the color palette of the Blue Looking Glass series is more rich, varied, and inviting.

Blue Looking Glass

Blue Looking Glass Series

Underneath the Sheets series

The Underneath the Sheets series was inspired by the premise of a Westmont College Reynolds Gallery exhibition entitled Interior Spaces.  The photographs explore a space that is typically overlooked: those small slow moments of light and color that filter through the sheets.  Sheets were moved and lit, but no other visual devices were used to distort their documentation.  A decision was made to make the images melt by keeping them out of focus. Without glasses or contacts, this is how I see those little spaces – blurs of light and color that are soft, warm and seductive.   This unfocused treatment references the way this space is inhabited and viewed by humans regardless of their visual acuity: in sleep, dream, or drugged seduction.  Only two shots include skin in them, however, some of the shapes emulate body parts, which adds another clue to the subject of this series.

Underneath the Sheets Series